Book cover of Portable Magic: A History of Books and Their Readers  by Emma Smithby Emma Smith

A history of one of humankind’s most resilient and influential technologies over the past millennium—the book. Revelatory and entertaining in equal measure, Portable Magic will charm and challenge literature lovers of all kinds as it illuminates the transformative power and eternal appeal of the written word.

Stephen King once said that books are “a uniquely portable magic.” Here, Emma Smith takes readers on a literary adventure that spans centuries and circles the globe to uncover the reasons behind our obsession with this captivating object.

Interview with the Author

Podcast art for History ExtraHistory Extra 
Powerful pages: the beguiling history of books
7/19/22           37 min

Podcast art for The History of LiteratureThe History of Literature 
475 Portable Magic – A History of Books and Their Readers (with Emma Smith)
1/9/23           55 min



Awards & Prizes


BISAC Language Arts & Disciplines

BISAC Literary Collections

BISAC Literary Criticism

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